Gaming on GNU/Linux, Why not Ubuntu?

Well thanks to Valve now the GNU/Linux users are with more choices than before, a lot of games, including some AAA, are natively working on this OS through Steam or SteamOS.

They starting with official support for the most popular GNU/Linux distro: Ubuntu, is okay for most of users, but if you need performance, maybe you have some issues, mostly because of outdated libraries and drivers.

This outdated things are because of nature of Ubuntu, freeze versions of libraries and programs, then test all parts together and and release a version of Ubuntu, sometimes seems like are not testing well.

Ubuntu not behave very well when user updates libraries, i have a long experience with broken functionality and broken packages, or the worst, broken apt/aptitude package manager.

One more thing to say is, Ubuntu is bloated of Canonical stuff, including a disgusting Unity as desktop environment among other things, and thats RAM eaten and some little performance drawback.

NOTE: I know that ubuntu has DE alternatives, but they have, in my experience with KDE (Kubuntu), a lot of issues, errors and problems.

Ok im a purist.

I try a lot of distros, and i found after a lot, Archlinux first, then Manjaro, an Archlinux derivate.

Archlinux Pros:

  • Rolling release: there is no Distro version, no distro upgrade, always are up to date and because of that, drivers and libraries has lastest patches and updates.
  • Open GPU drivers behave better because of first item.
  • Clean/Vanilla installation, you install what you need, nobody is installing things for you, you choose you DE (Desktop environment), and you avoid background processes getting information from your search in your DE like Ubuntu has.
  • Superb documentation.
  • Sometimes problematic kernel dependencies, most related to AMD CPU/GPUs, Xorg versions and support from drivers.
  • You can install all DE what you want, without any issue between them, ubuntu has a lot of problems with this.
  • Pacman: A package manager that i never have a problem with.
  • Huge community repository AUR, the non official packages, well mantained by users.

Archlinux Cons:

  • Is not for begginers
  • Painful installation for begginers
  • Maybe some games need some specific libraries that not installed by default, all are well documented in Archlinux wiki.

The good thing with archlinux, is you learn a lot, like or not you learn a lot of things from deepest things on linux, is fastastic, but not all people has plenty of time to do this.

To solve this problem i try Manjaro, is an Archlinux derivate, and solve a lot of things for begginers.

Manjaro Pros:

  • All pros that Archlinux already have.
  • Easy to install, no techie questions, straightforward.
  • You NOT install DE during install, you choose it when you download ISO image (with exception of net-install), DE Flavors (Official): KDE, XFCE. DE Community versions: Cinnamon, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, Gnome, i3, LXDE, LXQT, MATE, Netbook, Openbox and PekWM.
  • MHWD: Manjaro Hardware detection is a tool that configure free and non free GPU drivers out of the box, that includes complex configurations like Nvidia Optimus in Notebooks with bumblebee.
  • Multiple kernel handling, you can install lot of kernels without any complex commands, and will be added to grub menu, begginer friendly.
  • Kernel module dependences, versions, are handled by manjaro system manager, with no any issues at the moment.

Manjaro Cons:

  • There is some delay between Archlinux updates and Manjaro updates, thats because are some testing between, is a thing to mention, i dont think this is big issue.
  • Maybe some games need some specific libraries that not installed by default, all are well documented in Archlinux wiki.


There is no better solution than Manjaro to play games on GNU/Linux, performance is excelent, no painful upgrades, or major issue, begginer friendly.